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Punitive damages may be possible in motorcycle accident cases

Punitive damages are not part of every personal injury case because they're not designed to compensate the victim for his or her expenses, like medical bills and lost wages. Nor are they meant to compensate the victim for any pain an suffering.

Instead, punitive damages are designed purely to punish the defendant for particularly offensive or reckless behavior—with the ultimate goal to hopefully prevent others from even considering doing the same foolish thing.

In an accident case where a motorcyclist ends up injured due to a collision with a car, the possibility of punitive damages is something that you should discuss with your attorney. There are a number of situations that could potentially make a request for punitive damages appropriate:

-- A driver seemed to purposefully cut into the motorcyclist's lane, blocked the motorcyclist from passing him or her or veered into the biker's lane just as he or she was passing.

-- A driver refused to yield to a motorcyclist who has the right-of-way.

-- A driver was drunk, tipsy or high on either legal or illegal narcotics while behind the wheel.

-- A driver was texting, eating, adjusting the radio or looking at his or her GPS system instead of paying attention to the road.

Motorcyclists often have to contend with the attitude from auto and truck drivers that all bikers are reckless drivers -- but research shows that it's the drivers of the cars and trucks that are mostly responsible for accidents involving motorcyclists. All too often, auto and truck drivers treat motorcyclists as if they simply don't have the right to share the same roads with bigger vehicles.

Not every motorcycle accident claim will qualify for punitive damages, but in cases where the driver of the car or truck seemed particularly aggressive toward the biker or failed to take the most basic precautions (like putting down his or her cellphone) it's certainly an issue that can be raised.

A law firm that understands the complex issues that are raised during motorcycle accident claims and understands the prejudices that bikers sometimes have to contend with on the road may be able to help you. Please check out our web pages for more information.

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Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group
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